Monday, December 7, 2009

Eye-Popping 3-D Pets

Chronicle Books

Barry Rothstein and Betsy Rothstein

Authors and publishers are so clever these days about finding great new ways to get kids interested in reading. Talk about making a book truly interactive! This one comes with two pairs of 3-D glasses neatly tucked in a pocket on the inside cover. Don't lose them - you'll need these wild glasses to make the animals leap right off the pages.

Phantograms are a form of an optical illusion. The illusion of depth is produced with a combination of two images that appear smudged (or as this book calls it, "a blurry mess") to the naked eye. Once you don the special specs however, the color filtering power of the glasses makes the image appear to be three dimensional! To kids, this bit of science translates to be really, really cool.

Not just a barrage of fancy photos, this book is also chock full of valuable information for exactly twenty-eight types of pets. A full page of information is provided on each animal, including instructions on how to care for that pet, habits, temperaments and helpful hints. You actually get a sense of what it would be like to own each animal - before you really do own that animal.

Of course, the big hook here is the 3D glasses and really neat rise-from-the-pages animals. But this is also a great resource when your family just isn't sure which pet would be the best fit for your household. Thinking about getting a potbellied pig? Maybe you didn't know that they are easy to train and can be taught lots of fun tricks. Or is a leopard gecko more your speed? Be careful not to grab that little guy by the tail, as it will break right off. Read about those animals, plus Guinea pigs, ferrets, frogs, parrots, tarantulas and more.

Overall, this is a wonderful book on household animals that will capture (and hold) the attention of children of many ages. Great photography, a neat use of science and just plain useful information will get your kids immersed in learning as much as they can about these animals. Just don't lose the glasses!

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